Sunday, March 9, 2008



This is for you, Leonie --

My earliest recollection in plants was of being very little and going for a walk in my parent’s garden. They inspired in me the love for nature and has taught me all there was to learn about flowering plants and fruit-bearing trees, roots and shoots, weeds, and how to maintain a green garden. We had all things for his garden; hoe, rake, pike, shovel, wheelbarrow, hand tools, and other garden implements. Watching my parents tending the garden was very inspiring.

It was a 500-sq.m. lot along the railroad tracks very much in the heart of Tondo, Manila. Crops would grow in any space and small footpaths led everywhere. It was a perfect little world for my cousins, friends, and me. We got to spend much of our free time playing; climbing the trees, harvesting tree ripened fruits, harvesting vegetables, picking sampaguita (jasminum sambac), lying on the thickly-growing grass under the warmth of the morning sun while listening to the low howl of the rolling wind, sleeping under the guava trees, catching butterflies, dragonflies, black and golden beetles. I remember being very proud of our garden especially the different mango trees planted all around.

While other kids played ball, jumping rope, luksong tinik (jump over thorns), patintero (three nights), taguan (hide and seek), viola (straddle jump), tumbang preso (prisoner), piko (hopping), takip-silim (blind man), sipa (kick) etc., after school or on weekends, we would rather spend hours watering the plants and trees, raking dried leaves, and weeding. It was truly a refuge for us.

Gardening will always be a part of my life!

To be continued


Monching said...

You really have a long memory. This is a well-written account of your small garden. I love flowers, too. Very nostalgic, kakalungkot! said...

Dagsa rin ang mangoes ngayon. Have you tried Pakistani mangoes. They are extraordinary big.